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Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Jets first look to roster for Favre's replacement


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum was coy on the subject of acquiring a new quarterback, but he and owner Woody Johnson conveyed optimism in a Wednesday afternoon conference call that Brett Favre's replacement already is on their roster.

 
  Al Pereira/Getty Images
  Kellen Clemens is considered a candidate to replace Brett Favre.

Kellen Clemens, Brett Ratliff and Erik Ainge have a total of eight NFL starts among them. One might follow a legend who started 269 straight.

"We do feel good about the players we have," said Tannenbaum, who traded for Favre and then released veteran Chad Pennington to make room in August. "If the opportunity presents itself [in free agency], we'll measure it carefully and do whatever's best for the Jets."

Said Johnson: "We've got three quarterbacks on the roster, and we feel pretty good with competition among those guys we'll end up with a pretty good quarterback."

Favre's decision will clear precious salary-cap space for the Jets, who were over and needed to trim by the end of the month to be in compliance with league rules. Clemens, Ratliff and Ainge aren't expensive, and the Jets might be content to move forward without spending for a free agent.

Scouts Inc. ranks the best free-agent quarterbacks as Kurt Warner, Kerry Collins, Jeff Garcia, Byron Leftwich and J.P. Losman.

The draft is another avenue the Jets could explore. They own the 17th overall selection. Top-rated prospect Matthew Stafford of Georgia will be long gone by then. Southern California's Mark Sanchez likely will be off the board, too. But strong-armed Kansas State passer Josh Freeman should be there.

Podcast: Kellen Clemens
Jets QB Kellen Clemens says no one from the Jets has talked to him yet about what Brett Favre's departure means for him. Clemens says he actually found out about Favre's retirement from SportsCenter.

"If and when we do add another quarterback, those situations will present themselves when they come up," Tannenbaum said. "We like what we have on the team. We will try to improve what we have on the team at every position, but we're going to move forward with those three quarterbacks on the roster."

Here is a breakdown of the Jets' QB depth chart: